So, do you want the good news or the bad news? Let’s start with the bad. End on a high and all that…
I didn’t get accepted for the BBC’s Journalism Training Scheme. Nope, they just didn’t want me. No explanation, but I guess they must get thousands of applicants per year and they can’t analyse every single application…I suppose…
I am, nonetheless, a bit disappointed. I did feel that I’d nailed that “mother” of an application form. It’s funny – with both the jobs I’ve successfully got in the past I’ve almost half-heartedly sent off my CV with a cursory covering letter (because I was just plain worn out by all the other massive application forms) and it’s those that proved to be successful. But surely that can’t be the way forward, can it? Surely employers want me to go through the job spec and say, “I can do that, I can do that, I can do that”. Tick, tick, tick. No?
But anyway, I’ve got a good strategy for this next interview. It’s an interesting role as a “creative and copywriter” in quite a niche market. Essentially, this company provides corporate branded scripts. Scripts for adverts, “on hold” telephone messages and brand-savvy corporate literature. I know I’m going to be tested when I get there, so my guess is it’s going to be something to do with writing a short script. Like most people, I tend to find being on hold rather boring. All that “I’m sorry, but all our operators are busy at the moment. Please continue to hold and we’ll deal with your enquiry as soon as an operator becomes available.” Blurgh! I’ve always thought that if these messages make you laugh, you’re more likely to hold. Agree? The same goes for those automated messages: “Press 1 to check your balance, press 2 for details of your latest payments…” Yawn! It would depend on the brand, of course. No point in Natwest saying, “Press 1 if you wanna get da low-down on your cashish situation, bro” or “to chat with a brother, slip me some skin on button number 2”. That wouldn’t work, obviously.
That said, say you were phoning up, I don’t know, an insurance company. They’re notoriously bad for keeping people on hold and giving you a billion options. But if that genuinely is necessary, wouldn’t you rather hear something like this? …
RANDOM INSURANCE COMPANY:
Hi, thanks for calling Random Insurance Company. Grab a pen, cos it’ll be helpful to have one once you’ve chosen from the list of following options. But don’t hang up if you don’t happen to have one to hand – you’ll manage.
Press 1 to do such-and-such. Press 2 to do this-and-that. Press 3 to speak to someone rather than listen to any more options.
..Great, thanks for choosing that option. Feel good about it? You should – it was a great choice. Here’s where the pen comes in. Clench it between your teeth, smile broadly and say, “I love it when a plan comes together” like Hannibal from the A-Team. And if you don’t have a pen, turn to the person nearest to you, or find your reflection somewhere, and say “I pity the foo’ who ain’t got no pen!” like Mr T. If you’ve never watched the A-Team, go watch it. Now, let’s get on with it…
Wouldn’t you rather be kept on hold listening to that sort of thing than Greensleeves or Simply The Best? I would. Well, I guess we’ll see how I get on after the test, won’t we?!
PS: You may have spotted that here was no good news. Sorry for building up your hopes – but that’s kinda how I feel after submitting what I consider to be a killer job application. Welcome to my world.